Mikhail Lermontov Additional Biography


(Critical Edition of Dramatic Literature)

Mikhail Yurievich Lermontov was born on October 15, 1814, in Moscow, to an impoverished member of the petty nobility, Yury Petrovich Lermontov, and a wealthy but sickly mother, Mariya Arsenieva, the only daughter of a member of the illustrious Stolypin family. Lermontov’s mother died in 1817, and his maternal grandmother, who hated her son-in-law, claimed custody of her grandson, assuming responsibility for his education and future career. While Lermontov was a child, his father left his son with the boy’s grandmother and seldom met with him again before his death in 1831. Lermontov seems to have spent a happy childhood with his grandmother and cousins, especially Shan-Girei, at his grandmother’s estate at Tarkhany. Twice they visited the Caucasus because of young Mikhail Yurievich’s ailing health, an awesome experience later reflected in his verse and prose.

Lermontov was educated at Tarkhany by private tutors and showed a special aptitude for music, evident in the lyric quality of his verse, and for languages, in which he read widely. Foreign authors greatly influenced his writings, especially Shakespeare, Schiller, George Gordon, Lord Byron, and Molière. Lermontov began early to manifest a weakness for the affairs of the heart, and unhappy love affairs were to characterize his short life. His first serious involvement came in 1830 with Ekaterina Aleksandrovna Sushkova, who rejected him and, like Onegin and Tatyana, was herself to be rejected by him later. A rather mysterious young woman,...

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(Survey of Novels and Novellas)

Mikhail Yurievich Lermontov, born October 15, 1814, in Moscow, had a diverse ancestry. His mother’s family was related to the influential aristocratic Stolypins, while his father traced his origins back to the Learmonths of Scotland. Lermontov’s childhood, however, was traumatic, extending its insecurities into most of his works. His mother died when he was three years old, and his maternal grandmother bribed her philandering son-in-law to leave the boy’s upbringing to her. The ensuing discord, as both sides battled for the child’s affection, left traces of bitterness in Lermontov that are reflected in his major characters. Pechorin, in A Hero of Our Time, especially echoes the author’s inability to express emotion.

Lermontov’s alienation from society and from individuals grew as he matured, despite wealth, elevated social position, and excellent education. He fell deeply in love a number of times without being able to establish a lasting bond. Like the female-hating Pechorin, Lermontov tricked and offended several young women he had earlier admired. As Pechorin rebuffs male friendships, so did the author keep aloof, despising schoolmates, professors, and fellow officers alike. His years at Moscow University’s Department of Literature, from 1830 to 1832, and the proximity of many famous literati, did not significantly further his talents, for he haughtily refused to be influenced. He had his first poems in print at age sixteen, and he relied on self-developed abilities for inspiration. An avid student of English because of pride in his Scottish ancestry, he was much under the influence of Byron, whose works he read extensively in the original. Bored at the university, he entered the School of Guard Ensigns and Cavalry Cadets and joined the Guard Hussars in 1834. His irregular and frivolous life as a rich, spoiled cadet earned for him the reputation of an enfant terrible....

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(World Poets and Poetry)

Mikhail Yurievich Lermontov was born in Moscow on October 15, 1814. According to family tradition, the Lermontovs were descended from a Scottish mercenary named George Learmont, who entered the service of the Muscovite state in the seventeenth century. Mikhail’s mother, Mariya Arsenieva, belonged to an old and aristocratic family, the Stolypins, and her relatives did not approve of her match with Lermontov’s father. Mariya died in 1817, and the child was reared by his maternal grandmother, Elizaveta Arsenieva, on her estate, Tarkhany. Because Lermontov’s father Yury did not get along with Elizaveta Arsenieva, he left his son at Tarkhany and seldom met with him again before dying in 1831.

Lermontov had a...

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(Masterpieces of World Literature, Critical Edition)

ph_0111204732-Lermontov.jpg Mikhail Lermontov Published by Salem Press, Inc.

Mikhail Yurievich Lermontov (LEHR-muhn-tawf) was born in Moscow, Russia, on October 15, 1814. He was the only child of retired army captain Yury Petrovich Lermontov and Mariya Mikhaylovna Arsenieva, whose wealthy family strongly disapproved of the marriage. The Lermontovs moved to Tarkhany, a country estate 350 miles from Moscow owned by Mariya’s strong-willed mother.

When Mariya died three years after Mikhail’s birth, Elizaveta Arsenieva took custody of her grandson. Crucial to his future development as a writer, she took him with her on journeys to the Caucasus Mountains to take the waters at the spa town of Pyatigorsk. The Caucasus was the wild frontier of the Russian Empire. The native mountain tribes were...

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(Masterpieces of World Literature, Critical Edition)

Mikhail Lermontov was the supreme psychological analyst of the superfluous man—the man isolated and exiled from society by virtue of his superior gifts and perceptions. Sometimes, as in The Demon, Lermontov idealizes this figure, while at other times, as in A Hero of Our Time, he puts the figure under the microscope and coolly examines his life and motives. Modern readers will find plenty to fascinate them in Lermontov’s works. The mixture of alienation, strong passions, love of beauty and freedom, cold-blooded manipulation, iron willpower, and cynical humor embodied in his characters is as vivid and engaging today as it was in Lermontov’s time.


(Great Authors of World Literature, Critical Edition)

Mikhail Yurievich Lermontov (LYAYR-muhn-tuhf), who carried Alexander Pushkin’s lyricism further into the European Romantic current, is in many ways the Russian counterpart of Giacomo Leopardi, Alfred de Musset, and George Gordon, Lord Byron. Born in Moscow into the family of a retired captain, he lost his parents very early and was raised by his grandmother on her country estate, Tarkhany, where he began writing poetry.

From 1828 to 1830, Lermontov studied at the boarding school for the nobility in Moscow, and in 1830 he entered Moscow University, from which he withdrew in 1832 to enroll in military school in St. Petersburg. He underwent two years of military training there, and served in the Life Guards Hussar...

(The entire section is 424 words.)